Some people asked me some time ago how I manage to do everything now that I’m back at work (yeah, the time at home with two little kids doesn’t count as “work” 😉 ). Answer is: I don’t. But I have two “tricks” to help me to at least try to manage.
One big trick is routines. My family loves routines and even before the kids we had daily routines. It helps because once you get those routines in your spine, you don’t have to think so much, you “just” do. With kids it really helps, they know what should happen next and get ready for it even before we say anything. Here’s our daily routine:
5:45 our alarm ligh starts to go on (usually I wake up to the light, not the sound of the alarm)
6:15 alarm goes on
2-3 times a week 10 min yoga (this is new for us and if our son is awake, he comes to “yoga” with us)
shower, clothes, makeup etc.
6:45 if the kids haven’t yet woken up, we wake them
7:15 I get our son to the daycare while my husband turns off the light, packs the car etc.
7:30 we leave to get our daugter to grandmom’s place
8:00 at work (our working places are near each other)
16:00 we leave work to pick up our daughter
16:30 I pick up our son while my husband starts to prepare the dinner
on Tuesdays one of the adults goes for grocery shopping (usually with our son)
laundry/ little cleaning of the house etc.
18:30 bath for the kids
reading for the kids
19:00-20:00 kids are sleeping
few times a week yoga for 15-30 min or other small exercise
laundry/ little cleaning of the house etc. that hasn’t yet been done
parents own time (usually we watch tv together or something)
22:00 I go to sleep, my husband comes a bit later since he’s not such a big sleepy head as I am
During the weekends when we don’t work, on Saturdays we do a bigger cleaning of the house in the mornings and have the rest of the day for family time and on Sundays we have the whole day reserved as a family time. But the routines are still there, everything happening in the same order, about the same time.
As we live in a house, there’s always something to do and we do all the maintenance work during the weekends. Sometimes the whole weekend goes to working with a small project but usually we try to keep at least one full half a day just to do something with the kids, either separately or all together.
Now, my second trick is my “weekly chores” list I’ve done, for every week, for a whole year (the “laundry/ little cleaning of the house etc.”). After we have finished the tasks for the day, we check them done (the inspiration for the list can be found from Motivated Moms, where I copied the idea and transformed it to suit our life). It was a big job to do the list but it has helped us so much! Now we (me and my husband) know what should be done and if it has been done already. And this is the little things like “watering the plants, wiping the kitchen counters” etc. During the week we have only small things that take maximum of half an hour to accomplish, and during the weekend we do the bigger stuff. I have to say though I was positive about the list when I got it done, I’m still surprised how much it really helps! Another thing that reduces the need of thinking! And I no longer need to ask the husband to do things, he does stuff by himshelf because he know knows what should be done in order to keep the house clean and orginized!
No more tricks and tips, we do what we can, try to make most of it and prioritize family time outside work. Life is busy and hectic but I enjoy most of it 🙂